Thursday, May 16, 2013

Comic book plot element

Iris told me that gamma rays have been done to death and she is going to use beta decay in the comic book she is writing.

Which led us to discussing, not just the electron-antineutrino pair that appears in neutron decay, but also the positron-neutrino pairs that can also result.  Her ears pricked up.

"Are they anti-matter?  How do they hold it?"

Umm, it's late and you should get to bed.

Why don't you ask your grandfather his war stories of delivering enough juice to power a Tokamak without browning out the entire surrounding region?

Some other time, I will tell you the story of how I raised my hand in graduate quantum class and asked the professor where in the periodic table do I find positronium.  (I have a BS in Chemistry and have never seen positronium in a periodic table of elements.  Have you?)

Anyway, the class erupted in laughter and I had no idea why.  Absolute horror--nightmare where you show up to class without clothes type moment.

On the bright side, this could be a good plot element for her heroine.

BTW, what is the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel?

4 comments:

  1. A graphic novel is longer?
    When I was a kid I loved Wonder Woman Comic books. Diana Prince was much more fun than Bat Girl. I hated it when she gave up her super powers for her boyfriend. A theme back then was that smart women or talented women(think Samantha on Bewitched) had to hide or give up their powers so men would not feel threatened. Those poor delicate boys!

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  2. Well, I didn't look for a positronium in the periodic table, but it took me some time to realize the difference between a positron and a positronium (at some point I thought these are name variations).

    Anyway, if Iris enjoys science-based comics, she may like this one:
    http://www.physicscentral.org/experiment/physicsquest/past/pq09.cfm
    I think there are multiple volume of it - so may be it qualify as a novel? :)

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  3. I'm still looking for that Zeroth scientist for which the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics was named.

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